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Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I am starting a series on gift giving and am very excited because I LOVE to give gifts! Some posts will be on gifts you can make and give and some will be gifts for under $10 but I thought I would start it off with some money saving and making tips! Please let me know if you have any questions!
- Earn Giftcards—I used Swagbucks online as a search engine most of the time because as you search randomly you earn what is called swagbucks and once you reach 450 you can get a $5 amazon giftcard. Now there are other ways to earn swagbucks and there are other things you can earn but right now this what I buy with my swagbucks. I also will take the poll or when I buy a Groupon I got through swagbucks and I print coupons through them as well—all of those items help you earn bucks. Just a month ago I got about $25 in giftcards…helped me get my amazon Christmas gifts!
- Use Groupons—I find that when I want to give money for someone to go out to eat it’s nice that I can stretch my money or double it with a groupon. So it I have $15 and would like to give a gift of a meal out to someone it’s nice that they could possibly have $30 with a groupon instead of just $15. Or I keep my eye open for good deals on manicures or fun activities. Things that will help stretch my money for gifts.
- Giftcards--Also since most people ask for giftcards these days (me included sometimes) it’s nice to use store and restaurant deals that are offered around holiday times. Places like Kroger, drugstrores and restaurants offer all sorts of incentives to get you to buy giftcards from them. I know that Kroger will offer extra points towards gas, drugstores will offer to stretch your money in giftcards and restaurants will give you an extra card of amount if you buy so much. Last year I bought $100 in Outback steakhouse giftcards and they gave me and extra $20 card. That makes your money stretch!
- Coupons—if you collect coupons it helps you be able to get good deals for putting together a basket of items and you can usually get name brand really nice things for a lot cheaper. So if you were doing a spa/beauty basket you could get Olay or Old Spice, etc. for a fraction of the price and impress people who think you spent a lot more than you did.
- Samples—I request a lot of samples when I have time and someone tells me where to go—like moneysavingmom, etc. I get samples of beauty products, household items, food, baby items, etc. I use some of these right away, I save some and I put some aside for gifts. So later if I’m putting together a gift for someone like a newlywed—I can throw in some nice samples that come in handy or for a baby gift and I have diapers or desetin or lanolin I can put that in the gift. I am also putting together right now a basket for one of my sisters with spa things and will be including the Target beauty bag and some beauty samples. Small things put together in a nice presentation make a good gift.
- Giveaways—I like to enter giveaways although sometimes it feels like I never win there are occasional times when I do win something and if I don’t need it I save it for a gift. I won some really pretty hairbows a while back and I only needed one so I saved the rest to give as gifts. There are all sorts of giveaways from giftcards to kitchen items so if you have time it’s worth entering.
- Swaps—I have found it very beneficial if I have some books or movies I no longer want to post them on paperbackswap.com or swapadvd.com as I can swap them for something I would rather have or when a family member’s birthday comes up and they have on their wishlist a certain book or movie I can request that for free since I usually have some saved up credits. All it costs me is the price of mailing whatever dvd or book I wanted to get rid of which is way cheaper than buying it brand new. Also on facebook there are now baby/clothes/diaper swaps you name it and someone out there is trading or selling things a lot cheaper. So I have found I can sell surplus clothes or items I no longer need and put the money away for gifts or to buy clothes I need.
- Accumulating a Gift Bag—I have in my closet a gift bag which is where I keep items that I have found for a really good price or gotten free or something I want to re-gift and know I can use for a gift down the road. So I have baby clothes, chocolate, lotions and soaps, etc. Sometimes during the year you see things at yard sales or at the store that are just such a good price and so I pick the item up and save it for Christmas or birthdays. Also a few weeks ago after Halloween I picked up a ton of candy to put aside for Christmas for stockings and gifts…good stock up price $.50 a bag.
- Mystery Shopper—A good way to also pick up a little extra money is to become a secret shopper in your local area. I work for 4 companies off and on—you get to pick shops that fit your schedule and this helps supply money for us to eat out and give gifts. Ask me for more information on that.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Gideon really loves trains so I decided to throw a family birthday party with the train theme. It was fun, we had picked up a big board that had wooden train tracks screwed onto it for young kids to play with trains so that was going to be Gideon's present along with some trains. Gideon helped me make and put together his train cake which I LOVED putting together, this is as creative as I get...and then I also let Gideon help me paint some boxes that he got to use as a train. It was fun and everyone was so wonderful to come and help us celebrate! I love our family on both sides!
|My train cake|
|Opening presents--Cars books from Aunt Beth and Uncle Brandon|
|The new train track!|
|Blowing out the candles|
|Mimi and Chloe|
|Playing with the new trains and track|
|Painting his train|